This podcast series, created and produced by phaware, is being offered as a regular guest feature on Pulmonary Hypertension News to bring the voices and life experiences of PH patients, family members, caregivers, healthcare specialists, and others to our readers. You may listen to the podcast directly, or read the transcript below.
I’m Aware That I’m Rare: Jas James
The phaware™ interview
Jas James is a longtime pulmonary hypertension survivor from Canada. She discusses the moment she realized that something more than pneumonia was causing her breathlessness.
My name is Jasveer James from Cobble Hill, B.C.
I was really active. I could pitch five games of ball in a row, I played ice hockey, I snow-skied. One day I went for a walk with a friend 10 years older than me. I was really short of breath, so I went to the emergency room, and they thought I might have a clot, but I didn’t. They diagnosed me with pneumonia. I don’t think I had pneumonia because I didn’t have a fever or anything, but I heard them say the word, “You have an enlarged pulmonary artery on the X-ray.” I worked as a practical nurse.
So when I went to the rheumatologist, I got there and I told him what had happened, and that I had a hard time walking up the ferry stairs to take from the island [Vancouver Island] to Vancouver, and I was really short of breath. They asked if a student could come in on my check-up, doing a fellowship, and he felt the side of my neck and said, “You need an echo before you fall through the cracks.”
Well, I had the echocardiogram, like he suggested, and I went to the … we don’t call them pulmonologists [in Canada] … respirologist. And he said I had pulmonary hypertension, and I needed to see somebody in Vancouver because he really doesn’t see people like me. I found out I had a pulmonary artery [blood] pressure of 114, and an enlarged heart. I have lupus, too, so that’s why I was at the rheumatologist.
I had the echocardiogram 15 years ago coming this August, and October 17th I had my right heart cath to confirm it. I’m doing OK, you know. I’m limited to certain things, but I just feel good to be here.
Just the other day a lady was having shortness of breath, and I told her, “Maybe you should get this checked and this checked.” Unfortunately she got a worse rare disease than me, a lung disease called Lam. So, awareness is really good, and the more people that know about it and the earlier the diagnosis, the better your outcome’s going to be.
I did end up with autoimmune hepatitis, five years ago, and even then they were saying, “This might happen, or this might happen.” But it’s been five years now and I’m still doing OK.
I’m Jas James, and I’m aware that I’m rare.
EVERYBODY HAS A STORY. WHAT’S YOURS?
phaware wants to share your pulmonary hypertension story with their engaged global audience. Whether you are a patient, caregiver, or medical professional, they are enlisting PH community members from across the globe. Visit www.phaware.global/podcast to share your story and to be considered for a future episode.And learn more about pulmonary hypertension at www.phaware.global. #phaware #phawarepod
Note: Pulmonary Hypertension News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Hypertension News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary hypertension.